Nine-month-old Kenneth is far below the healthy height and weight for his age. His parents do not have the resources to buy him the varied and nutritious diet he needs to grow. His diet lacks fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods, leaving his immune system weak. This means that diarrhea, fevers, and respiratory illness can be life-threatening if he does not receive treatment. In the long term, he could face stunted neurodevelopment, increased risk of chronic diseases, and subsequent low earning potential as an adult.
Kenneth lives in a one-room adobe house in Guatemala with his family. He is a twin, and his parents have been unable to afford to feed their two children the foods they need. This is because they live on only a couple of dollars a day–his father works as a day-laborer who often doesn’t have work and his mother works at home, taking care of him and his brother.
For $512, Kenneth will receive growth monitoring, micronutrients and food supplementation, which will help him recover from malnutrition–saving his life and putting him on track to live a better life in the future. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age. His immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake, preventing him from having any life-threatening situations with diarrhea and fevers. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to develop mentally instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses.
His parents will also receive the support they need to feel empowered to give Kenneth the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Kenneth the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.